Thursday, March 23, 2006

Why not?

I've been crocheting since college. One month ago, my friend Rachel's mom taught me how to knit. I've been going crazy every since.

My coaster friends have noticed, they tell me I'm too quiet on our forums. It's because I'm reading knitting blogs instead of the forums.

I don't participate as much as I used to in chat, because I can't type and knit at the same time.

When I crocheted, it was almost always afghans. I attempted a hat once, but I wasn't concious of the concept of guage and it was a little floppier than I would have liked. I got into crochet thread and doilys for a while. I even made my mom a tablecloth. Then, the thing that always seems to happen when I try a craft and learn that I'm good at it happened.

People started requesting things.

This has always been my failure point. Always. As soon as something starts to feel like "work", its not fun anymore. When I was in elementary school I learned how to make those knotted friendship bracelets. The ones that require a ton of work, knotting embroidery thread in certain ways to create various patterns. I was good at them. I could do them quickly, I've made some really elaborate ones. I learned about color matching and contrast. I became obsessed with the intricacies of turning a bunch of embroidery thread into a bracelet through the use of knots. I dreamed of selling them at craft fairs when my mom was selling stuff at craft fairs. Turning this cute little hobby into a sustaining business for a 10-year-old.

And then people started making requests. Then it became a chore. I was no longer taking on this task because it was fun and I enjoyed it, I was doing this because someone else wanted something. There were deadlines and expectations. So I stopped, and moved on.

In college, it was crochet. Again, once more requests started coming it (and I got a cat who enjoyed the yarn too much), I stopped for a while. But recently, I'd picked it up again. I had reason and I wanted to do it. Now, I've learned how to knit, and I have the enthusiastic drive of a new hobby. I'm learning things, I'm figuring new techniques out. In the month since I learned, I've finished 2 scarves and started a third. In the last week I've finished one hat and started a second (which means I already have material for finshed object posts, this thrills me to no end). I'm feeling the pulls of supplies again, I've pulled out and explored my stash from crochet again. And I'm really really hoping no one decides to sabotage this one by asking for anything.

So, no expectations and we'll get along just fine. :)

P.S. Oh, the only hobby I've never had this problem with -- Roller Coasters. It's almost purely selfish. I plan my escapes, I book hotels, I find deals, I bargain, and I travel. I drive or fly somewhere, spend one or several days at a park, and I have fun. No work involved. The one part of the hobby that started to feel like work were the trip reports, and I've found ways around that by not writing them, or only writing them for certain trips or writing them in different styles. It's beautiful and sustainable. My coworkers think I'm crazy.

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